Herpa Special Edition “African Star” MK Airlines 747-200F 9G-MKL 2007

9G-MKL MK Airlines 747-200F Herpa Special Edition Corporate
9G-MKL MK Airlines 747-200F Herpa Special Edition Corporate

MK Airlines flew the UK/Europe to Africa cargo routes from 1994-2010 and was a regular at Manston Airport. It’s history was varied and its safety record considering the number of aircraft it had in service at any one time, was diabolical, mostly poorly trained pilots were to blame for several severe right-offs and a number of deaths ranging from Canada to Africa.

This particular model is a fantasy registration (9G-MKL, L being the one letter in the sequence they never had) MK Airlines had produced by Herpa, only 100 were believed to have been made and were a corporate gift to its principle client, Panalpina for whom the airline flew on contract. It comes with a stand, which ironically enough doesn’t fit the hole provided, marked up with the African Star logo as is the box.

It’s association with Manston in Kent is always enough to interest me as I grew up not far from there and it featured heavily in our lives. One of the MK Airlines MD-80F’s is still rotting there as I type. I have the Gemini version of 9G-MKI another 747-200F – the victim of a bad accident at Abidjan airport when it came off the runway due to pilot error.

9G-MKL MK Airlines
9G-MKL MK Airlines at RLSI

While I’m not subjecting it to the normal type of review, the bizarre thing is it looks far more like a Gemini mould and build than it does Herpa, I suspect Herpa may have had Gemini build it for them – even the stand looks Gemini in origin, but it clearly shows all the packaging hallmarks of being Herpa and its listed on Wings900 as being so, though that is often slightly inaccurate, it’s still the most reliable source of information by a long way.

It’s a highly polished model with some nice graphics though the MK logo is not the right red. It was £20 on Ebay (about $35 US) and I just had to have it! They look great together and its nice to have something really unusual.

9G-MKL with 9G-MKI
9G-MKL with 9G-MKI